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The DS Guy

1971 Citroen DS on the Salt Flats

It’s a symbolic gesture really. I’ve been in the ad biz for many years and over and over again, I’ve tried to get my clients to make big decisions. Earth shaking decisions. I’ve tried to get them to be fearless in their creative solutions and take risks.

Without taking a risk, you’ll end up looking just like everyone. And you’ll go broke.

We remember the great campaigns and brands that took risks to build their brand and while many of the safe companies survived, it’s the bold ones that capture our imaginations.

That’s why I drive a Citroen DS.

When this car was introduced in 1955 it was a good 30, 40 or more years ahead of its time. It was a huge risk for a small company to take, but they’d been taking risks for years. Their engineering and design solutions were always unique and advanced.

With the Citroen DS, they surpassed everything they’d ever done and could have risked utter failure, but they were right. They were right in coming up with a car so different and so well engineered that it captured the worlds attention. And it kept that attention nearly unchanged for 20 years. How many cars can go that long with very few modifications? Not many ever have.

The DS is unique in this. They were bold in their design and ideas and much of the world embraced their ideal. The DS had a full 20 year run with very little change. The brakes are amazing, the front wheel drive handles very well, the gas mileage is great, interior big and bright, the trunk huge… And the suspension is still better than anything you’ll ever drive. For a car built in the 1950’s to be more comfortable than a car built 60 years later, well they were on to something.

We here in the US think it’s weird looking. And maybe it is. But every time I take it out of the garage a dozen people will stand back and admire the curves. Little kids will stare. People who never notice cars will stare. Most people here in Texas have no idea what the hell it is and they’ll guess Saab, Porsche, Volvo etc. Most have never heard of a Citroen, but over and over the car makes converts. Especially when they get inside and sit in the huge, comfortable seats.

So for me, its symbolic. Make a big decision and don’t be afraid to stand out. Don’t look for others to define what you should produce, go deep into your own creativity and bring out something new. It’s a risk. You can fail big or you can succeed big. But if life isn’t worth the risk what the hell do you have?

Chris Greta